What I'd Like For My Birthday and Christmas

My birthday is December 11. Christmas, my December holiday of choice, is December 25. I’ve heard that some people want to get me gifts for these two holidays. If you’re one of these people, here’s a list of things I would like, in my order of preference!

1.) Donations to GiveDirectly. GiveDirectly is a new charity that will take any cash you donate it and give it directly, no strings attached, to extremely poor families in Africa. Surprisingly, they’ve found that such transfers result in useful spending like buying food, investing in their homes, paying school fees, or increasing their savings. Very few recipients use it on alcohol or tobacco.

GiveDirectly has been thoroughly vetted and is supported by multiple studies and is currently one of the three top recommendations of GiveWell, a very selective independent charity evaluator. Additionally, the foundation Good Ventures has promised to match any donation to GiveDirectly up to $100K, so any donation you give will be doubled!

To be honest, I already have lots of the things I need or the means to get them for myself. I’m really excited about the opportunity to make a true difference in the world via GiveDirectly and would greatly prefer a donation here more than any other gift.

If you don’t want to donate to GiveDirectly, here are some books I really would like to get:

2.) The Charisma Myth: How Anyone Can Master the Art and Science of Personal Magnetism by Olivia Fox Cabane. I like receiving books and don’t mind if they’re used, as long as they’re still legible!

3.) Decisive: How to Make Better Choices in Life and Work by Chip and Dan Heath.

4.) The Copywriter’s Handbook, Third Edition: A Step-By-Step Guide To Writing Copy That Sells by Robert W. Bly.

5.) The Science of Giving: Experimental Approaches to the Study of Charity by Daniel M. Oppenheimer and Christopher Y. Olivol.

Last year, two readers of my blog reached out and bought me a book from my list. I totally don’t expect that, but if you do want to do this for some reason, feel free to contact me for shipping information.